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Social Equity

Equity is an important part of the Creating Sustainable Places initiative. In addition to promoting a region that is more vibrant, connected and green, we want to create an equitable region where everyone has the opportunity to fully participate. MARC has worked with a number of local and national equity partners on this important element of the initiative. In the process, local organizations have created a Regional Equity Network to ensure that all planning processes and policy decisions take social equity priorities into account.

The Regional Equity Network’s first major activity was working with two national organizations to prepare an equity profile for the Kansas City metropolitan area. These organizations are PolicyLink, a national social equity organization, and the University of Southern California’s Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE).

The equity profile contains a wealth of information on the state of social equity in the Kansas City region and will be used to help the Equity Network set its agenda. The Equity Network and MARC encourage other organizations to use the equity profile to inform their policy decisions and spark discussions about social equity in the region.

  • PolicyLink and PERE have launched a national equity atlas which allows communities to compare their equity measures with other parts of the country. Visit the National Equity Atlas»
Get more information about Transportation Equity Programs»

On Saturday, Sept. 29, 2013, approximately 100 individuals representing a broad range of interests and organizations met to discuss how sustainable development can reflect social equity priorities and how the region can organize to promote social equity in Greater Kansas City. The meeting was highlighted by two presentations:

  • Charles Davis of the Jacobs Family Foundation spoke about the Market Creek project in San Diego, where equity principles were applied to a successful mixed-use development.
  • Nathaniel Smith of the Partnership for Southern Equity spoke about the organization, mission and initiatives of this equity network that serves Atlanta.

The meeting concluded with a commitment to form a regional equity network in the Kansas City metro area. If you are interested in being a part of such a network, please contact Dean Katerndahl.

The CSP Coordinating Committee partnered with several organizations to help engage all the various interests in the region and apply a “social equity lens” to our work. These organizations are:

  • PolicyLink (a national social equity organization)

The Equity Partners developed an equity lens that can be applied to sustainable development to assess its impact on social equity. It was reviewed and approved by the CSP Coordinating Committee in September 2012. These partners have taken an active role in Creating Sustainable Places, lifting up voices that are often not heard in discussions of how our communities develop. Other accomplishments include:

  • Actively participating in the CSP Coordinating Committee.
  • Participating in developing guidelines for the Planning Sustainable Places grant program.
  • Taking a delegation of 20 people to the PolicyLink national Equity Summit in November 2011.
  • Hosting a discussion of social equity’s importance to creating a sustainable region with the CSP Coordinating Committee. This discussion featured a national expert, Manuel Pastor (see his slides here).
  • Developing engagement strategies for corridor planning projects in partnership with local planning committees and consultants.
  • Presenting to the CSP Coordinating Committee a set of social equity strategies that act as the initiative's “equity lens” and helps articulate how social equity can be promoted. The Coordinating Committee authorized these strategies to be used in helping to develop the corridor plans. These strategies are based on the CSP Guiding Principles adopted by the Coordinating Committee in 2011.
  • Developing a regional equity network and agenda (currently in process).

For more information contact Damon Daniel (CCO) or Lora McDonald (MORE2).